Iraqi President Fuad Masum has rejected the country’s controversial 2018 budget bill, and ordered it back to the parliament, according to a source quoted saying on Tuesday.
Alsumaria News quoted an “informed source” saying that the president declined to approve the bill and decided to return it to the parliament for review.
Kurdish network NRT also quoted a source saying that the president cited 31 financial and legal violations in the document. He said that “while the budget empowers the cabinet to restructure ministries, the constitution limits that authority to legislation”.
The Iraqi parliament voted in favor of the draft on March 3rd amid a boycott from Kurdistan Region representatives who objected to reducing the region’s share of allocations from 17% to slightly above 12%.
Masum said Saturday that he was going to scrutinize the bill for “technical and constitutional deficiencies”.
The Iraqi president was a co-founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
Kurdish parliamentarians have recently been quoted saying they would demand Masum and all other Kurdish members of the Iraqi government bodies to withdraw in protest at the budget.
Relations between Kurdistan and the Iraqi government deteriorated after a referendum Kurdistan held in September, in which a majority voted for secession from Iraq.